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Source: Auckland Council

More trees and clean waterways, shorelines unfouled by spills or plastic, recycling and sending less to landfill are increasingly occupying the minds of Papakura residents.

Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole has noticed a marked shift in attitudes and credits our young people with making it happen.

“When COVID-19 struck and it was obvious budgets were going to be hit, one of the things people made very clear to us was that our environment had to be protected whatever the cost.

“Our young people especially consistently rate what is happening to the environment as one of their most important issues, and that’s transferred over and become a very widely-held attitude in the general population too.”

He says that passion for the environment is also critical to Māori, and is expressed in terms like kaitiakitanga, guardianship.

“We are here for a short time, but the land remains, and we must look after it. It’s our role to ensure that it is passed on to the generations to come in a fit state.”

One of the objectives in the 2020 Papakura Local Board Plan, which guides the board’s direction for the next three years, is maintaining a treasured environment. A second is a partnership with Māori that creates a Papakura where Māori identity, culture and aspirations are embraced.

“Those two things fit well because Māori identity, culture and aspirations are interwoven with the land, where we live, how we live and what we do as guardians of our home,” Brent says.

Earlier in the year, the board completed a round of feedback that included engaging with young people at several events. Despite the age of the audience, they rated the needs of the environment ahead of their own.

“People are at the heart of our decision-making and we’ve recognised what residents have told us as we have shaped this draft version of the plan, and now we need to see if we have captured the thoughts of all who told us about their dreams.”

The plan’s outcomes are:

  • a vibrant and prosperous local economy
  • a community enriched by its diversity, where people feel connected and lead active and healthy lives
  • a well-connected area that is easy to move around
  • a treasured environment and heritage
  • a partnership with Māori that creates a Papakura where Māori identity, culture and aspirations are embraced.

Have your say

Go here for the draft plan and an online form.

Make a Facebook comment here, using the hashtag #lovelocal for your views to be official.

Attend a hearings-style event from 4.30-7pm on 5 August at the board’s Coles Cres offices, where you can get a paper form that’s also in libraries, or call 09 295 1300 to have one sent.

Consultation on the draft is open until 13 August.